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Two manatees to help rebuild endangered population

Tuesday, August 09, 2016 - 00:52

A Singapore aquarium sends two male manatees to Guadeloupe for what it says is the world's first repopulation program for the species. Rough Cut (No reporter narration)

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NATURAL ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: Wildlife Reserves Singapore sent two male manatees to Guadeloupe for a repopulation project, said to be the world's first. Manatees are currently listed as vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Their numbers have declined in the last century due to hunting, entrapment in nets, and collisions with propellers and motorboats. Before beginning a 34-hour journey to Guadeloupe, the aquarium staff in Singapore sedated the manatees, Junior and Kai. To keep them comfortable during their long journey, Kai and Junior's crates were lined with thick sponge, which also absorbs water that has to be periodically sprayed on them to keep their skin moist. Kai was born in October 2009 and Junior was born in February 2010. Wildlife Reserves Singapore said Kai and Junior were selected for the repopulation program in Guadeloupe as they have reached sexual maturity, and are best friends inside the aquarium. Their relatively young ages also makes it easier for them to adapt to a new environment. According to the aquarium, the pair will be the first arrivals at the manatee repopulation project in the Grand Cul-de-sac Marin, headed by the National Park of Guadeloupe and future offspring from the manatees will be reintroduced to the wild to continue repopulating the Caribbean.

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Two manatees to help rebuild endangered population

Tuesday, August 09, 2016 - 00:52